Whitstone School's Harry Millward wins national karting title
Shepton Mallet teenager Harry Millward clinched the UK National Kart Racing Association junior title at Llandow race track, South Wales, last weekend.
One of the oldest national kart championships, the NKRA has been won in the past by the likes of Jenson Button, Paul Di Resta and the late Dan Wheldon.
Open to all classes and clubmen with MSA licences, the grand finals see points carried forward from regional championships and 15-year-old Millward won all four heats and the final to secure the title.
The Whitstone School pupil only started karting three years ago when a family holiday in Cyprus was extended due to ash cloud problems.
"It's been a real journey but since moving to the Zanardi team last year we found we had the right equipment to compete seriously for wins, and this year has been great as I've improved as a driver and a racer," said Millward.
"Anyone can drive fast with the right package but learning race-craft comes with experience, and racing at different tracks across the UK and Europe has helped me hone those skills."
Gary Ward, team principle, at Zanardi UK, added: "Harry is a great lad with the right attitude. His maturity in the kart and around the paddock has shown through in his ability to take on advice and put it into practice.
"You don't win races without a great deal of skill and bravery, but a calm head capable of putting in consistent lap times and giving the mechanics feedback on kart performance to enable changes is just as vital.
"We are all very proud of him and he is an asset to the Zanardi set-up."
Millward paid tribute to his school for giving him the freedom to pursue his motorsport career, along with his family and friends.
"I am really grateful to Zanardi for helping me achieve this national title, but have to thank my school for being flexible with time to allow me to compete, and also my family and friends who have been there to support me when its been good and bad," he said.
"It's been a total team effort with many sacrifices along the way."
Dad James, who has been at all of Harry's races and is chief mechanic most of the time, said: "I'm really proud of him. It's great for him, his school and for Shepton.
"You really can't under estimate what an achievement this is. It presents us with a whole lot of new challenges as to what to do next as he is still too young to graduate into cars, and the budget needed increases significantly as you go up the speed brackets into Formula Ford or Formula 4.
"We will probably defend his national title in juniors next year while keeping an eye on GCSEs and finding some financial backing to go into cars.
"But for the moment we will reflect on his achievement this year, and there is still the Clay Pigeon Club Championship that he has a chance of winning with two rounds remaining."